Google’s algorithm features more than 200 different factors, and some SEO professionals look at it as though it is the closest thing to artificial intelligence. Maybe Google isn’t that intelligent, but the point is that it’s awfully complex, and it does do a better job of searching through the billions of websites and returning the most relevant results than any other search engine.
Making predictions on anything is difficult, but hey, it’s fun to at least try! Here are some of ours for 2013 and the future years:
- A diverse set of links becomes more powerful. This one is actually already in place, but it’s strength as a ranking factor will increase throughout 2013. Links will have to come from fewer, more reputable sites. The more of these quality links you have, the better, but they do need to be quality. Google also focuses more on “earned” links, so the more work you do to get a link, the more value it carries. At Devenia, we specialize in compiling and monitoring our database for the most valuable link sources. It takes a ton of work, and it will take even more work in the future.
- Your site will need to be a database of information. Sometimes, companies create micro sites (sites with just a few pages) because it can be much easier to rank several sites for a few keywords than a single site for many keywords. This strategy will continue to work, but to a lesser degree. In the near future, Google’s focus on quality, useful content will increase. That means it will want larger websites with more comprehensive information resources available. This makes sense because after all, people want information online, and if they can find the answers to many of their questions in one place, they will stick to that source.
- The definition of “quality” will increase. It actually has since the release of the Panda in February of 2011, and this will continue. Panda has received more than 20 updates already. Each update has been fairly minor, with the exception of the first, but they all total up to a large difference. Professionally-written, engaging content will carry more weight in the future.
- “Social proof” will gain more momentum. ”Social proof” refers to the marketing idea that if other people like it, it must be good. It’s similar to the bandwagon effect. Google will continue to look at the number of followers and social shares your accounts receive. If you’re not active on the major social media, it will eventually become necessary to have at least some presence on a couple major channels. If you’re a local business, having those positive local reviews in Google Places and other major business directories will help also.
Remember, Google Always Rewards Hard Work
While Google is difficult to predict, the key lies in focusing on hard work. Trying to trick it, or building as many links as quickly as possible, simply doesn’t work. It really is that simple!